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Full text of "Rapid Population Growth Consequences And Policy Implications"

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frontal attack on the old conception that saw the fringe and squatter settlements (known by various names throughout the region: barriadas, favelas, callampas, colonias proletariat, etc.) as festering sores on the urban body politic. In perhaps the most forceful and telling attack on this position, Mangin (51, p. 66) challenged, successfully in my opinion, each of the following "standard myths" attributed to squatter settlements:
1.   The squatter settlements are formed by rural people (Indians where possible) coming directly from "their" farms.
2.   They are chaotic and unorganized.
3.   They are slums with the accompanying crime, juvenile delinquency, prostitution, family breakdown, illegitimacy, etc.
4.   They represent an economic drain on the nation; since unemployment is high, they are the lowest class economically, the hungriest and most poorly housed, and their labor might better be used back on the farms.
5.   They do not participate in the life of the city; illiteracy is high and the education level low.
6.   They are rural peasant villages (or Indian communities) reconstituted in the cities.
7.   They are "breeding grounds for" or "festering sores of radical political activity, particularly communism, because of resentment, ignorance, and a longing to be led.
8.   There are two solutions to the problem: (a) prevent migration by law or by making life in the provinces more attractive; or (b) prevent the formation  of new squatter settlements by law and "eradicate" (a favorite word among architects and planners) the existing ones, replacing them with housing projects.
Mangin does not maintain that these people have no problemsó"I do not mean to minimize the problems of overpopulation, rapid urbanization, poverty, prejudice, and lack of elementary health and social services that play such an important part in squatter settlement life,"óbut his "more hopeful and realistic" interpretation is one that views squatter settlements "as a process of social reconstruction through popular initiative."
The Basic Values of Migrants and Natives
The migrant's adjustment to the large-city milieu will be made more difficult if he must undergo a major change of values and norms. One feature of the rural-urban dichotomy is that it leads, however unintentionally, to thinking of rural and urban in terms of exclusive social and cultural systems. If this were literally true, then rural-urban migrants would be forced to abandon whole sets of normative expectations and to take up new ones-an enormous challenge, especially for adults.
But is such a transformation required of most migrants? Satisfactory evidence on this point is not available, but the Monterrey Migratory Statussearch, well illustrates the dangers of catchy neologisms which often get confused with knowledge."